Cristina Smeu - Glasgow, Technology Summer Intern
"Not only have I been explicitly tasked with fostering excellence and driving positive change, I have been supported all throughout my journey."
Posted 11 months ago
My internship at Barclays has been a fantastic experience and has provided me with a great insight into what it’s like to work at a leading bank. I worked within BUK Cost Planning & Analytics with half of my time in the planning team and half in the analytics team. This allowed for me to gain wider exposure to different teams who work closely together and to be able to understand how inter-related many of those teams are.
I chose this business area as I wanted to understand the core finance decision-making processes that Barclays undertakes and how it goes about collating the required information to produce the likes of short-term and medium-term plans. Along with this, I could analyse how many of the Business Units within BUK performed in terms of their costs compared to their budgeted expectations. In my 9 weeks at Barclays, my understanding of the bank and its processes has significantly improved, which will no doubt help me with my future endeavours.
Upon considering the transition from a University environment to that of a professional working one, I was a little worried that it may be difficult to settle in at Barclays. I was also worried that it may have been hard to communicate with people in a more relaxed manner as they may require absolute professionalism at all times. I believe that these are common worries amongst students starting at a bank for the first time. I am delighted to say that these fears are clear misconceptions and were eradicated within my first couple of days at Barclays. My team were extremely friendly to me and very easy to talk to. They understood that this was my first real experience in the financial services sector and dedicated much of their time to teach me about the bank, how it operates, and the many tools that are utilised. They made the transition very easy for me, which allowed me to be relaxed immediately. Along with this, my team were keen to help me whenever I had any issues and never left me in the dark, significantly improving my professional development. The Barclays culture is one of the most noticeable things when you start working. The relaxed yet professional environment, combined with great work ethic and ensuring that all jobs are completed, shows the perfect blend of being motivated and confident whilst still being able to socialise and chat with others.
My workload varied from week to week. I was set challenging tasks but also provided with the right advice and help to be able to complete them efficiently and effectively. I never felt as though I was being under-utilised and I was never overloaded with work either. I also led a fantastic team in a 6-week intern project and presented to leading members within Barclays. This was a great experience and challenged my interpersonal and leadership qualities. I believe I led the team very well and our ideas were keenly acknowledged, which was a pleasure to see. I also attended an Intern Hackathon event which allowed us to work with AI and present to key figures within the Barclays Technology division. I grasped all of these opportunities with both hands and am delighted with the experience that I gained from them. There was still some spare time after completing these activities, providing me with the opportunity to network across the bank and meet people from various different divisions. As a result, I have a much deeper understanding of these other divisions within Barclays and how they operate.
Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and feel as though I have come away having learned a vast amount about the way in which the bank operates and the fantastic culture that it inhibits. I’ve had great exposure to important tasks and felt that I have always had the support from other team members – making this experience all the more better. I have achieved all of the objectives that were set for me to a high standard and for that I am very proud.